Detroit fine dining restaurant owner trying to recoup from COVID-19 impact loses building

Posted at 2:20 PM, Jun 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 04:03:25-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It's been a financially difficult three months for restaurants. Table No. 2 on the Avenue of Fashion, like many others, has been looking forward to reopening, hoping summer business would help recoup lost revenue. Unfortunately, just before the governor eased restrictions, the landlord decided to sell the building and Table No. 2 was forced to move out.

Chef Omar Mitchell, executive chef and restaurateur, has a passion for fine dining and a passion for Detroit. He loves providing his guests with high quality unforgettable fine dining experiences.

"Caesar salads made at the table, banana foster flambé right in front of the guest, carved tomahawk steaks sliced at the table," Mitchell said.

He opened Table No. 2 on Livernois in Detroit's historic Avenue of Fashion last Valentine's Day. Two months later, eight months of road construction began, gutting the sidewalks and completely rebuilding the road. Chef Omar Mitchell loves the results but the process was a struggle.

He hoped business would take off once the road work was completed, and it did.

"So Valentine's Day came around, we were booked," he said. "The week after we were booked, the week after that we were booked and I’m like woah! This is really coming to life. My vision is coming to be," Mitchell said.

Then the pandemic shut it all down.

Mitchell continued to serve his guests carryout, a revenue stream he never considered as a possibility for a fine dining restaurant. He says he planned to continue providing carryout options when he reopened his doors, but he never got the chance.

His landlord decided to sell the building and Table No. 2 had to move out. It was a devastating blow.

"I’m just trying to find the positivity and the energy to keep moving," Mitchell said. "I am hoping I find a building 4- to 6,000 square feet, to allow for social distancing."

Chef Mitchell invested money to start his restaurant only a year ago, between road reconstruction and the pandemic, he doesn't have the money he needs to start again.

"(There's) down payments, restaurant equipment, trucks to move, staff to pay to move," Mitchell said, which is why he started a GoFundMe page to fight for his business, for his livelihood and for his employees.

"I am the back up plan, so I have to reopen because they are depending on me and I’m depending on them," Mitchell said.

He says during a time when so many are struggling, he knows many have been through worse and he is grateful to have his health and the energy to start again. He is grateful for anyone who is able to contribute financially or help locate and secure a new location.

"I thank our future guests in advance for coming to Table No.2 at its new home," Mitchell said.

He hopes to find that new space as soon as possible, but until then, he would like to to find a location to cook and continue offering carryout.

If you'd like to read more about his story or help him find a new location visit

You can also donate to Chef Mitchell's cause by going the GoFundMe page here.

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